With the variety and technology expanding over the years, dentures have become a solid and aesthetically-pleasing option for those who have damaged or missing teeth. From Partial to Full and from Fixed to Removable, there’s practically a denture to fit each need.
Although the ultimate dental goal is to preserve the health and function of your natural teeth, properly fitted dentures can provide a comfortable and economical alternative. You’ll work with the dental professionals at Rhodes Family Dentistry to determine the best denture option for your lifestyle and dental circumstance. Let’s explore the variety of options available.
Types of Partial Dentures
Partial Fixed Dentures
For those who have just a few missing teeth in a row, the Partial Fixed Dentures (also called Implant-Supported Bridge) are likely the right fit for you. This type of denture has dental implants at both ends of the missing teeth with an artificial tooth (or teeth) bridging the gap. Since the implant is permanently screwed into the gums, they are not removable without the assistance of your dentist. Because these dentures are fixed into the gums, they are stronger and have a better bite than removable dentures.
It’s important to remember that implants into the gums require you to undergo surgery. They are more costly than removable dentures, and take more effort to keep clean than their removable counterparts. But they can be an excellent option for some patients.
Partial Removable Dentures
For those unable to get a more permanent implant, there’s an alternative option to Partial Fixed Dentures. Partial Removable Dentures can be removed from the mouth by the wearer and have a similar look and feel to natural teeth. Partial Removable Dentures have three key features:
- The acrylic gum-colored base
- The false teeth attached to the acrylic gum
- Metal or pink clasps that attach to surrounding teeth and keep the denture secure
These dentures are easier to pop out and keep clean than fixed dentures and are less costly. Though metal clasps may be visible, partial removable dentures are incredibly durable and help to prevent your existing teeth from shifting because of the missing teeth.
Types of Full Dentures
Immediate dentures are used primarily after all-natural teeth are extracted. It’s a temporary solution, allowing time for your gums to heal after extraction (usually 6-8 weeks) and before your more permanent set of dentures is complete.
Permanent dentures are fitted to your body’s unique bone and gum structure, but immediate Dentures are not. Because there isn’t an exact mold, they can be more challenging and not as comfortable. Although not perfect, immediate dentures provide some normalcy during the transition between natural teeth and more permanent dentures, making talking and eating easier.
Conventional Full Dentures
Once your gums have been healing from your natural tooth extraction, and you are getting used to Immediate Dentures, you’ll be fitted for your conventional Full Dentures if this type has been chosen by you and your dentist.
Custom Conventional Dentures (if done correctly) can take a few months to be created. The gum-colored acrylic base must fit appropriately over the bone that previously held the teeth so that once they’re being worn regularly, the dentures are suctioned to the lower gums or palate of the mouth for stability.
Implant-Retained Dentures (Overdentures)
Another option for Full Dentures is Implant-Retained, and just like the name implies, this type of denture requires dental implants (usually at least four spots into the gums or upper/lower jaws) and then utilizes the full prosthetic denture that sits snuggly on top of the gum tissue. Unlike conventional dentures, these have more stability while talking and eating and do not come loose or slide around unnaturally.
Because these dentures are custom fitted to your facial structure, they are more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. However, the custom fit and implants make these a more invasive and costly option. While the implants hold the denture structure in place, the attachments can become loose and require tightening, which must be done by a dental professional.
This kind of Denture is a hybrid, similar to both Partial Removable Dentures and Implant-Retained Dentures. Like Partial Removable Dentures, Snap-On Dentures are easily removable but need an implant or anchor into the bone under the gums to be supported.
The denture itself is created with locator attachments that snap onto the implant or anchor. The patient must have enough bone to support this kind of denture, but it is a go-to choice for a natural look, stability, and ease of use.
As you can see, the options for dentures are abundant, and the costs range from a few thousand through $20,000 or more. Though you still may be unsure of the right fit for you, Rhodes Family Dentistry always has the newest dentures available and can guide you through the denture journey. Whether you’re a new patient or already a part of the Rhodes family, the dental professionals in our Olathe office will walk you through everything from your first discovery consultation to the fittings and necessary appointments to get you through the whole process. We look forward to serving you! Contact us and book an appointment today.